Egypt’s Doctors Without Rights questions draft law
CAIRO: Egypt’s Doctors Without Rights, an advocacy group for the betterment of health care in the country, said on its Facebook page that they are skeptical of a new draft law for what has been canned the scientific sustainable development in Egypt. Mona Mina, the head of the organization, said that she had received information from local reporters concerning the new draft law to be discussed in the next Parliament session, and worries that it will continue to keep doctors from receiving proper compensation for their efforts.
She added that the new law would continue to maintain the status quo, which has seen the government expenditure on hospitals and equipment continue to drop in recent years.
The new law allegedly provides for the renewal of a permit to practice every 5 years and the renewal would be based on the hours of the accredited training of doctors, where doctors would have to provide proof of their attendance at the training, otherwise the doctor would be given a warning and placed on 6 months probation. Then, if the doctor doesn’t provide proof of course attendance, the government would ban his or her right to practice medicine if the doctor does not get the required training.
The group said that while this does not pose any problem on its own, “because training and ongoing study is the basis of medicine, but what raises concerns is about who will bear the expenses for this training?” One of the members of the group wondered, “will the employer bear the expenses of the training courses and the expenses of the transportation, if the headquarters of the courses are far away?”
One member added, “I think it is a necessary condition, because the courses that would require some doctors to travel and accommodation would be expensive, so would doctors have to bear these consequences in addition to their many problems, or would this law include 100 pounds for the doctor as a raise to their salaries?”
The members further questioned the role of the syndicate to publish the draft law, which affects the future of thousands of doctors on its website, and to set a date for an expanded seminar to discuss this law. Doctors Without Rights has asked that a committee of medical professionals identify the main points which would be important to modify, so that when passing the law, “we would guarantee that it expresses the interest of the doctors and not a new law to make these doctors suffer.”
Medical workers in Egypt have threatened a number of strikes and have demonstrated regularly in Cairo over poor pay and a lack of quality equipment in order to treat patients. The government has largely remained silent over their demands.